I left La Serena yesterday. There was not so much to do there beside check out the depressing "zoo" with equally depressed animals in tiny cages. I walked around town and went to Coquimbo which is the next town. They are by the sea so obviously there is great seafood to be had there. I, on the other hand, had some nasty fried fish or sorts. I didn't feel like dying afterwards so I think it was okay.

Today I took a bus to Vicuña, which is the doorway to the Valle de Elqui ("Elqui Valley"). There is an awesome observatory here called Marmalluca which I am really excited to see but the skies are cloudy - and not forecast to clear up before Monday - which means tours are cancelled for the moment. I might have to stick around until it becomes better.

As I left the office of the observatory an older lady pulled me aside and told me of her nephew who speaks five languages and is a supervisor the observatory. She called him on my behalf and I spoke to him a bit. They were both very helpful. The lady asked about me, where I'm from, where I'm going to stay, and then said, "Hmm, you could probably stay at my place." So she invited me to stay at her lovely house as her guest. What a wonderful person!

Right now I'm in the internet cafe just around the corner from her house. She gave me her keys and told me where I could get an extra set cut for myself while she had a nap. But before her nap she put a whole spread of food on the table for me and said, "It's your house."
"Wow. You're incredible," I said.
"You can tell when you meet a good person," she replied.

Let's see where this adventure leads me. :)